Everyone is talking about the upcoming recession as the economy has taken a downturn, with rising inflation making budgets tighter for individuals and businesses alike, making it more difficult to sustain your business and continue to grow. When finances become tighter for businesses, one of the first areas budgets often get cut is in marketing. However, marketing helps to keep the business alive by bringing in new clients or customers, and an important part of your marketing strategy is getting in front of your prospective clients through search engine optimization (SEO).
In a recession, your marketing strategy may need to change to accommodate not only for a tighter budget but also to respond to the actions of everyone else—your competitors and your clients or customers. Perhaps demand for your product or service has gone down, or perhaps people are simply more hesitant to work with a company they’re not familiar with, making it more difficult to convert leads. What people prioritize will change, and you may need to adjust your strategy as a result.
So when money is tight, not just for your business but for everyone, how can you continue to improve your SEO? Being prepared for a recession may make the difference in whether your company is able to smoothly ride out the economic changes, falter and struggle, or grow through the difficult season and come out ahead of competitors.
Why to continue with your digital marketing strategy
When faced with any situation that requires you to change your digital marketing strategy, it’s vital to remember that SEO works cumulatively—whatever you do, do not stop your SEO efforts altogether. In some cases, it may be appropriate to scale back when your budget is particularly tight, but by abandoning your efforts, you will hurt your website and future SEO in the long run.
Google pays attention to the activity on your site, and it highly values regularly published new content. If you cut back on the amount of content you’re publishing just to save some money, you may see that reflected in your search results rankings.
It’s also important to recognize that changes in business always come with opportunities, and being prepared can make all the difference in whether you’re able to take advantage of those opportunities. Difficult financial times often mean cuts in marketing budgets, so some of your competitors may scale back their own SEO strategies in an effort to save money, giving you an opportunity to usurp them in the search results for competitive keywords. If you maintain a strong SEO strategy or even continue to improve it while your competitors relax their own, you put yourself in a better position to reach potential clients and customers, who may also be fewer and further between during a recession.
How to revamp your content
This is a great time to look back through your older content and assess it critically to look for places it can be improved. Revamping pages will help bring them back into relevance by telling Google’s algorithm that they’ve been updated, and even more importantly, it’s a great way to continue to improve your content so it can rank higher on search results pages.
As you review old content, carefully examine the keyword for each page. Ask yourself, “What is the intent of the reader when searching for this keyword?” This will help you identify how to better address the questions the user has when they click on your page looking for answers. Especially if you have been publishing content online for a long time, you may have some pages that are optimized for specific terms rather than for user intent. Google’s algorithm has changed over the past several years and highly prioritizes the intent of the user over specific words or phrases in a user’s search, so your content needs to reflect that by satisfying the intent of the user.
Asking yourself how your page can better satisfy user intent will help you optimize your keywords as well as find ways to improve your content. As you’re revamping pages, it’s a good time to take the opportunity to use the skyscraper technique. In this technique, you carefully examine the top pages in the search results for the keyword you want to rank for. What are they doing well? Why are they at the top? Then you take whatever they’re doing well and do it even better. This usually means writing a more informative, longer post or including more useful resources.
How to create great content with a small budget
Another great way to improve your SEO during an economic downturn is to publish new content. Hiring writers to create content for your website can be expensive, and content creation is one of the most expensive ongoing costs of SEO. However, that means that it’s one area your competitors may be scaling back, and by continuing to publish regular content, you’ll put yourself in the best position to create an advantage for your business. Here’s the secret many businesses don’t know: content creation doesn’t have to be expensive.
One of the easiest, quickest, and cheapest ways to produce content is to have someone interview you, record the interview, and then have it transcribed. There are even plenty of digital transcription tools out there so you don’t have to pay a transcriptionist, which can quickly get pricey. As the expert in your business, you have the best information to publish on your website already inside your head, and by crafting a few intentional interview questions, you can easily and quickly get thousands of words of content within just a single-hour interview.
Of course, you’re going to need a writer or editor to polish up the transcriptions into usable content. But by creating strong questions, the kind a potential client or customer might be asking, you can create excellent content that only requires a small amount of editing to turn into content for your website.
The most important thing to remember is that you can continue to improve your SEO and grow your website even during tough economic times. It’s not the time to make major changes to your SEO strategy, because by doing so you could sabotage your future SEO success. By continuing to publish content and maintaining your SEO, you’ll put yourself in the best position to weather the economic downturn and possibly even come out ahead of your competitors.